Following its legalization, for human consumption, last year hemp is fast becoming the superfood everyone is talking about. The main nutritional sources of hemp come in the seeds and the oil.
Hemp seeds contain a balanced 1:3 ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids (“essential” meaning your body can’t produce it, so it has to come from an outside source. It contains a highly concentrated balance of proteins that competes with wheat, oats, rye, corn, or barley.
Hemp oil is not the same as cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The production of CBD oil uses the stalks, leaves, and flowers of the hemp plant, which contain a higher concentration of CBD.
Hemp seed oil comes from the small seeds of the Cannabis sativa plant. The seeds do not contain the same levels of compounds as the plant itself, but they still have a rich profile of nutrients, fatty acids, and useful bioactive compounds.
5 Health benefits of Hemp:
1. Brain Health
Researchers have noted that omega-3 fatty acids found in hemp are one of the most important nutrients in optimizing brain function and your overall health. Hemp seed oil protects the brain against inflammation. One of the main ways that this occurs is through omega-3s making cell membranes more fluid.
The brain requires plenty of healthy fats to operate properly which means the fatty acid content of hemp seed oil is also beneficial.
2. Heart Health
The seeds contain high amounts of the amino acid arginine, which produces nitric oxide in your body
Nitric oxide is a gas molecule that makes your blood vessels dilate and relax, leading to lowered blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart disease
The National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted a study with over 13,000 people, increased arginine intake corresponded with decreased levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammation marker. High levels of CRP are linked to heart disease.
3. Gut Health
Fibre is an essential part of your diet and linked to better digestive health. Fibre helps to guard against constipation, it appears to help nourish and balance the healthy bacteria in our gut, and it is associated with a decreased risk of certain digestive disease and cancers. Hemp seeds contain lots of fibre and when consumed with plenty of water encourage the seeds to swell up and help get the bowels moving.
4. Mental Health
Magnesium and B vitamins are present in hemp. Magnesium supports neurotransmitter functions in the body and helps reduce stress and anxiety. Hemp seeds are one of the richest sources of magnesium, containing 45 per cent in just 3 tablespoons. One cup of spinach does not even contain half of that in one cup!
5. Skin Health
The Hemp seed has an abundance of healthy fats that help to feed the skin and reduce dryness.
Without physically being applied to the skin hemp can also guard against sagging and wrinkles due to the presence of amino acids which are used in the synthesis of elastin and collagen.
"I want people to get over the stigma about hemp. These seeds can't make you high, but they will make you feel good"~ Ziggy Marley